Game of Thrones‘ first season laid down the template for the show’s success. The cocktail of violence, sex, political intrigue and fantasy was a smash hit and quickly won over a massive audience. But over the years, we’ve heard about some eyebrow-raising behavior on set during that first shoot.
For one, Emilia Clarke revealed in a 2019 interview that she was strongly encouraged to do more nude scenes, resulting in clashes with the show’s production team.
“I’ve had fights on set before where I’m like, ‘No, the sheet stays up,’ and they’re like, ‘You don’t wanna disappoint your Game of Thrones fans’. And I’m like, ‘fuck you,’” said the actress.
But it seems that it wasn’t just women in the cast that were being pressured to take off their clothes. Author James Hibberd has just released an oral history of the show titled Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, where Aquaman star Jason Momoa (who played Khal Drogo in season 1) reveals that he faced similar demands, specifically that showrunner David Benioff tried to persuade him to go fully nude and take off his “cock sock.”
“David had been like, “Momoa, just take it off!” You know, giving me shit. “Sacrifice! Do it for your art!” I’m just like, “Fuck you, bro. My wife would be pissed. That’s for one lady only, man.” David and I love giving each other shit. So afterwards I ripped the thing off and kept it in my hand and gave him a big hug and a handshake and was like, “Hey, now you have a little bit of me on you, buddy.”
Momoa seems to have taken this in his stride (and Clarke also said that he’d gone out of his way to look after her on set), but it’s a great example of how performers of any gender can find themselves being under pressure to do things that they don’t want to do. In fact, it’s been recently noted that the show could have really used an intimacy coordinator in order to smooth out those power differentials between actor and producer/director.
While Game of Thrones has come to an end, prequel series House of the Dragon is currently in pre-production and will “track the beginning of the end for House Targaryen.” Details are thin on the ground, though we do know that Paddy Considine has been cast as Viserys Targaryen the First. It’s expected to release in 2022, so be sure to stay tuned for more updates as and when they arise.